The Commonwealth Fund announced today that David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, the former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, will become the new chairperson of the Fund’s Commission on a High Performance Health Systems

Dr. Blumenthal is currently Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School. He succeeds James J. Mongan, M.D., founding chairman of the Fund’s Commission on a High Performance Health System, who passed away on May 3, 2011.

Dr. Blumenthal was chosen by President Obama to serve as National Coordinator in 2009, with the charge to build an interoperable, private, and secure nationwide health information system and to support the widespread, meaningful use of health IT. He succeeded in putting in place one of the largest publicly funded infrastructure investments the nation has ever made in such a short time period, in health care or any other field.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Blumenthal as chairman of the Commission during this critical period of implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” said James R. Tallon, Jr., Chairman of The Commonwealth Fund. “The Commission will be well served by his deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face as we move the U.S. toward a high performing health care system that will help set our nation on the path to a sound economic future.”

The Commission’s 17 members are a distinguished group of experts and leaders representing every sector of health care, as well as the state and federal policy arena, the business sector, professional societies, and academia. The group is charged with developing recommendations promoting a high-performing health system that provides all Americans with affordable access to high-quality, safe care while maximizing efficiency in its delivery and administration. In a series of reports leading up to and during the debate and passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Commission made the case for comprehensive reform of the U.S. health care system and described concrete goals and strategies to achieve high performance. Its publications include Bending the Curve: Options for Achieving Savings and Improving Value in U.S. Health Spending, which detailed federal options for both short- and long-term savings within the health care system, and The Path to a High Performance U.S. Health System: A 2020 Vision and the Policies to Pave the Way, which laid out comprehensive insurance, payment, and system reform policy options similar to those included in the new health reform legislation.

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